With the coronavirus still clouding the sports schedules and with sport in many markets only partially running (if at all), there’s a real opportunity for leagues which have got started to tap into overseas markets.
Take Major League Baseball and Japan, for example. While the domestic Nippon league got up and running in June, there still seems to be plenty of built-up demand for other competitions. In the past month, Buzz around MLB in Japan has increased nearly tenfold (see chart below).
In fact, it is now ranked second of all the properties we track in the country, behind only Nippon Professional Baseball.
As you can see, it’s a similar story for MLB in South Korea, where Buzz has increased from around eight points a month ago to almost 14 today, pushing it into fifth place of all the properties we track.
While we creating this kind of analysis, we thought we’d also look at how the NBA was performing in China, historically one of its biggest foreign markets, following the restart. It’s good news there too. Over the past month, the NBA’s Buzz score has doubled as it bounces healthily back from its enforced break.
So while the new sporting set-up may not suit every domestic fan, the data shows sports marketers that every cloud has a silver lining. Opportunities for growth may still exist.